namby-pamby (adj.)

"weakly sentimental, affectedly nice, insipidly pretty," 1745, from the satiric nickname of English poet Ambrose Philips (1674-1749), "a good Whig and a middling poet" [Macaulay] mocking his sentimental pastorals addressed to infant members of the nobility. Used first in 1726 in a farce credited to Carey (Pope also used it). Related: Namby-pambical.

Others Are Reading